Doncaster Rovers: James Coppinger could get Rovers recall at Preston

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

Paul Dickov admits it will be difficult to not throw James Coppinger straight back into action tonight on his return to fitness.

Coppinger was not risked in Saturday’s win over Colchester with Dickov preferring to give him extra time to recover from the ankle injury which has kept him out for Rovers’ last seven games.

But he could start the 34-year-old tonight at fellow promotion-chasers Preston North End.

Although pleased with his side’s overall form in Coppinger’s absence, Dickov says the influence of the veteran midfield cannot be ignore.

He said: “Although we’ve picked up some good results without James in the team, we feel we’re a different prospect with him in it.

“It’s credit to the other players that we have picked up points while Copps has been out because we’ve shown good form in the main and picked up victories in that time.

“James is a big influence on and off the pitch for us.

“The players that have come in have largely done great.”

Rovers played seven games in February and Dickov said there may be a need to freshen his team for the meeting with the Lilywhites tonight.

But he says making changes after Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Colchester will be difficult.

Dickov said: “We’ve had seven games last month alone and we’ve got another six coming up this month.

“We’ll look at it and assess how everyone is when we get up to Preston.

“ freshened it up on Saturday by making three changes and it worked to a certain extent.

“It’s the conundrum, do you change a winning team or not?”

Rovers have no further injury worries heading to Deepdale.

Preston skipper Tom Clarke could return to the squad for Rovers’ visit.

Clarke missed Saturday’s 4-0 mauling of Oldham after suffering a blow to the head against Walsall and was replaced by Scott Wiseman.